Wedding Reception Forum

Separate guest for ceremony and reception

My step daughter just got engaged and her fiance's grandmother wants them to get married at the same church she got married and his parents got married. They have agreed to this, but the church is very small (about 20 people). Is it ok for her to invite people to the reception only. She is really only planning on immediate family and wedding party at the ceremony. 

Re: Separate guest for ceremony and reception

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    No it is not ok to invited people to the reception only unless it is truly only immediate family (not aunts, uncles, cousins and best friends) to the ceremony. Even at that some people will disagree with that. It is very nice for them to want to honor grandmother's wishes, but it might not be practical for them to do so. Most people want to witness the ceremony (the most important part of the day) and may not choose to just attend a reception especially if travel is involved.
    MobKazJen4948
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My step daughter just got engaged and her fiance's grandmother wants them to get married at the same church she got married and his parents got married. They have agreed to this, but the church is very small (about 20 people). Is it ok for her to invite people to the reception only. She is really only planning on immediate family and wedding party at the ceremony. 
    I understand the sentiment behind grandma's wishes.  If grandma is paying for the wedding, then the couple needs to decide if they want to marry according to grandma's vision, or start their married life making their own decisions.
    Some current thinking agrees that if the ceremony guest list is truly limited to IMMEDIATE family, it can be justified.  A wedding party beyond 2 witnesses also would not make sense to me.  Personally, as a guest, I am not a fan of this trend.  The ceremony is the most significant point of the day.  To be excluded from that makes me feel as if I have entered a movie in the middle of the plot.
    Since your stepdaughter has already agreed to this, there is not much you can do.  I would just caution that some guests may be put off, at the very least, at being excluded from the ceremony. 
    short+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think your stepdaughter and her fiance need to tell his grandmother that marrying at her church just isn't practical.

    Maybe the church will allow for some photos there (the grandmother could check this), but I think it would not be appropriate to have a tiny ceremony and a large reception. The point of the reception is for the couple to receive the guests who were actually at the ceremony and to thank them for attending, and it would be awkward at best to thank guests who were not invited to the ceremony.
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